Pictured are some of the dogs abandoned at the Hollister Animal Shelter in August 2020. Officers have subsequently identified the person who allegedly abandoned the animals, and recently issued them a criminal citation.
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After a lengthy investigation, Hollister Animal Control officers cited a Santa Clara County resident for abandoning more than 20 dogs at the local shelter, according to police. 

The investigation started in August 2020, when a then-unknown person left 20 “Terrier type” dogs at the Hollister Animal Shelter’s after-hours kennels, Hollister Police said. Only one of the dogs had an embedded microchip, which led officers to the animal’s registered owner. 

However, despite numerous attempts to contact the owner, officers were unable to reunite the person and animal, authorities said. 

Each of the 20 dogs was sent to an animal rescue shelter after they served their state-mandated hold period at the police kennel, police said in a press release. The dog possessing a microchip served its state-mandated, owned animal hold period and was later adopted.

On May 29, 2022, at about 11:55am, Hollister Animal Control Officers found three more “Terrier type” dogs left in one of the Hollister Animal Shelter’s after-hours kennels, says the press release.

Upon further investigation, police determined that the dogs had been potentially abandoned. Animal Control Officers continued to investigate and reviewed security footage of the incident, police said. They were able to identify a person of interest who lives in Santa Clara County. 

Investigators obtained a name and address for the suspect. This information matched that found on the microchip of one of the dogs abandoned at the Hollister shelter in August 2020, according to authorities. 

When officers contacted the suspect, they admitted to abandoning the dogs because they were no longer able to care for them—even though they continued to own additional animals, police said. The suspect, who has not been publicly identified, was issued a criminal citation for abandonment of animals. 

Abandoning an owned animal at a shelter or any public place is a violation of Penal Code 597, police noted. 

Anyone who would like to surrender an animal can do so during business hours at their county’s animal care facility, police said. Furthermore, stray intake forms are available and must be filled out by anyone who finds a stray animal in San Benito County—before placing the animal in the after-hours kennel. 

San Benito County residents with questions about surrendering an animal can call the Hollister Animal Shelter at 831.636.4320. 

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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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